Being new to the land of localization, I cannot say that I have any personal regrets that the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) has shut down. I have read a number of blog posts about it and, based on what I’ve read, people don’t seem to be particularly surprised.

Of particular interest to me is Renato Beninatto’s post called Of LISA’s Insolvency and Other Events. Renato is one of the foremost experts in the localization field. He is well-known, outspoken, and forward thinking. So, when Renato states that “LISA had become irrelevant,” I think stand up and take notice.

Renato ties the decline of LISA to the rise of specialty events such as Apps Go Global and Worldware. Where LISA charged a large membership fee to join and attend the events, the specialty events do not require membership of any type.

I find what Renato says to be compelling.

In this day of online community, where social media is essentially free to all who want to participate, are the days of paid-for communities, such as industry associations, over? Why should I pay to belong to a community when I have plenty of people in my free online community whom I can access wherever and whenever I want?

In order for industry associations to remain relevant, they need to provide something more than what I can get online at a series of webinars, and a compilation of meet-and-greets. Because taken together, the online twitter community, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, combined with the plethora of webinars, and the more than occassional meet-and-greet provide all of the same benefits as paying for membership in an industry association and paying big money to attend conferences.

And, I get to sleep in my own bed.


Val Swisher
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